American Music Awards 08 - Performance Recap

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 5:13 PM

Overall the performances were very high-energy. It was definitely a night for the backup dancers. Almost everyone, even the folks who could have done just as well without, brought their crews with them to rock the show with their acrobatics and athleticism. Despite all the extra effort though, the show’s performers failed to produce anything memorable or ground-breaking. The result became a string of music-video-esque type performances with no antics or over-the-top stunts to create a buzz. Here’s what I observed:

Christina Aguilera opened the show with her sensational voice and about as many outfit changes as songs… She began with a few lines from Beautiful and then transitioned into an amped-up performance of Keeps Getting Better, where she was accompanied by her dancers. In my opinion, this is what the music video really should have looked like. She also took a stroll with her hits Genie In A Bottle, let the vocals rip on Dirty and brought it home with Aint No Other Man.

NKOTB – is it time to sit down yet? Jordan’s singing was sooooooooo off most of the time and they looked about as uncoordinated as bad as they sound

Pink’s performance of her second single Sober was a highlight for me. It’s definitely one of the best songs on her album, and this performance was totally rocked out. Not to mention she looks amazing. Pink sure knows how to kick in the emotion when it’s time.

I’m now officially checkin for Taylor Swift. She did a great job, and I think I'm gonna review her CD

Miley Cyrus' performance of Fly On The Wall had great energy and the song is kinda catchy. Is she this decade’s Britney Spears?

Jonas Brothers - blaaaaaahhhhhh…

Ne-yo… white shoes tho? Feelin the horn arrangement and the dance routines were amazing but uh… I think he forgot that he was actually supposed to SING the words. If you’re going to dance that hard and forget to deliver the lyrics, join the rest of the “cool kids” that lip sync their live shows!

Leona Lewis took the stage with her perfect vocals and she looked great!! She is one of few artists I dare to say sings better live than on her album! Another highlight of the night for me.

Beyonce showed up gloveless for a performance of Sasha's current smash Single Ladies. Of course she looked amazing and had great energy, but that vanilla honey on the right was killing it. So I guess that answers my previous question: even without the glove, she still gives the love...

Fashionably, Rihanna rocked! She tried some new things with her vocals, to prove that she can actually sing, contrary to what a lot of folks seem to think. I really hope Rehab is the last single from this album.

I’m gonna try not to say anything bad about Kanye West. His performance of Heartless was cool, nothing amazing, but his vocals were quite off in a lot of places. Which brings me to my next point…What’s he gonna do when he goes on tour?? Oh and Kanye… from now on just take your award, say thank you, sit down and shut up. Thank you and you’re welcome… (Hey, I said I'd TRY!)

Sara McLachlan and Pink singing ‘Angel’ – That is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and this duet was amazing. Really took me back to Pink’s Can’t Take Me Home album, her R&B flavored debut.

Alicia Keys performed Superwoman with some help from Queen Latifah and Kathleen Bennett (presumably a professional opera singer). Good look with bringin out the Queen and diversifying her performance, but I think the opera may have been a bit much. I see what she was trying to do and I appreciate it, but it was a bit much all at once.


3 comments and counting...

  1. Mack,

    That Miley Cyrus performance was awful. Since when did having a lot of energy equate a good performance?

    I agree with you on that Alicia Keys performance at the end, it was just a mess, really.

    I have high hopes for Kanye's new joint, and his "Glow In the Dark" performance was the best show I've ever seen a rapper give...but if he's going to have another tour and will sound like he did last night, I'll pass. He need a mobile vocoder and tape it to his throat or something cause that performance last night was awful.

    Also, do you remember when artists were fine just singing their songs on stage? Note to Leona Lewis and Natasha Bedingfield: you don't need back up dancers for slow pop songs. I mean, it's not like this is the first time we've ever seen pop-locking.

    Posted on November 24, 2008 at 10:29 PM

  2. Good summary for the most part Mack.

    Rihanna was ok, I really want her to get up there and sing like she did on "Unfaithful" and "Take A Bow", I do agree it's time to get in the studio again and capitalize on her buzz.

    I kinda liked the A.Keys performance with the operatic touch, I just wish it was more pronounced.

    Posted on November 24, 2008 at 11:36 PM

  3. TJ Said,

    I'm generally never really excited over Rihanna's performances. I always look forward to seeing what she's going to wear and I always pray she does a good job because, let's face it, I stan for that chick. But she never gives a truly exciting performance. This one was no exception. All the elements were there but it just lacked umph! But I loved her voice. I keep telling people she has a good voice in there. It just comes out when it wants to. lol

    Pink was awesome all around that night. Loved her!

    Posted on November 25, 2008 at 10:45 PM


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